Photo from Urban Moonshine's Facebook page

Photo from Urban Moonshine’s Facebook page

I’m always on the hunt for new ways to calm my IBS/leaky gut. I don’t usually go into specifics about how I’ve changed my diet, but in case it’s helpful here you have my current recipe for success: digestive enzymes with every meal, probiotics, no refined sugar, no wheat, no dairy and no gluten. Corn extremely rarely. I get spacy without meat so I eat it often but almost always buy it at Whole Foods. From a bigger vantage point: I eat organic, local and in season often.

But the truth is that to stay healthy my recipe for success needs to evolve over time. After years of battling food sensitivities, I have a very strong desire to carve out an eating pattern and repeat. To buy the same foods over and over and simply rejoice that I can eat those without feeling poorly.  Eating the same foods and not experimenting opens me up to a whole host of new issues (our bodies LOVE it when we change things up), and I never access the fact that new foods and supplements can help my body heal and push me to have an even healthier gut.

So here’s my decision: I want to start using herbs for my gut & anxiety

Digestive bitters appeal to me in particular because digestive enzymes have been wildly helpful for me. If you’re not familiar with bitters, they are blends of herbs and roots with a really (you guessed it) bitter taste to them that once it hits your tongue causes your digestive system to power up to its full potential.

I had the chance to listen to a training call about digestive bitters with Jovial King founder and owner of Urban Moonshine. She explained that bitters are like the gym for your digestive system. We want our digestive system to be fit, strong and easily challenged. Bitters help build up that strength.

They’re helpful for acid reflux, gas and bloating, curbing sugar cravings (HOORAY!), relieving nausea and upset stomach, supporting your liver and more.

What I was thrilled to hear Jovial explain is that bitters work great in partnership with digestive enzymes. So I can keep supporting my body in that way but also help it to up its own natural strength at the same time.

And it is my sincere hope that my body build up its own natural strength. I have no interest in underestimating just how much my gut can help heal itself. In general, I don’t believe I’ll stay happy and healthy by subscribing to one wellness “plan,” my body will dictate when things needs to change, with the season, when I’m under more stress than normal etc.

Here’s a quote geared toward those of us who’ve fallen into the trap of perhaps being TOO kind to our digestive systems from Edible’s interview with Jovial King: “If we baby ourselves too much, it’s not to our benefit,” she says. “Engaging and challenging the palate is a good way to make ourselves strong.”

And yes, you guessed it. You can find Urban Moonshine’s bitters at your local WFM.

Next week, I’ll be posting about the other herbs I’ll be incorporating into my life thanks to a friend Mike who’s an herbalist.

Three things:

1.) This Bliss Balls recipe looks fantastic. Eliminating sugar (and the inflammation that it can cause) continues to be a big focus for me with healing my gut, and I’m trying to continually challenge my definition of “dessert.”

2.) Loved this article about how a relationship can challenge you to be bigger than you know you want to be and give that same gift to someone else: “I want you to inspire me to be a better person. To push myself – in my career, in my education, in my beliefs, culture, and values. I want you to inspire me to try things I always said I wouldn’t. To read books I never thought I’d like, to go to a place I never wanted to visit, to eat a food I always swore off. I want you to inspire me to be better. Every day. Because although self-motivation is important, sometimes our steam just runs out. Sometimes we need a person running alongside us, telling us we can keep going, that we can cross that finish line.

And I want to inspire you, too. I want to be able to push you. To stretch your limits and make you step outside of your comfort zone…We make each other better. We consistently try new things and pursue higher heights. That’s…well, that’s inspirational.

3.) I know we’re like almost to spring and all, but my love for oatmeal is going strong. Loving these recipes from “Oh She Glows.”